Caryn James

'Downton Abbey,' Season 4: Bad Lines, Extra Melodrama, Still Irresistible

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 3, 2014 12:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments
"Kiss me now!" says Lady Edith to her married beau, as they sit the middle of a restaurant. "Kiss me!" says Cora, Countess of Grantham to Lord Grantham as he heads off on a trip. "Kiss me!" says ... oh, at least a couple of other people in season 4 of Downton Abbey, as if writer and creator Julian Fellowes were intermittently channeling dialogue from some bad romance novel.

'Downton Abbey' Ends Season 3: What Will We Do Without You-Know-Who?

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 17, 2013 10:45 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Oh dear, just when things were looking better. . . . If you haven’t watched the game-changing final episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3, you might want to turn back now, because all will be revealed.

'Downton Abbey' Preview: This Week's Jaw-Dropping Episode

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 27, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If there is one episode of 'Downton Abbey' you won’t want to miss, it’s this week’s. I won’t give anything away, except to say that the video preview here doesn’t begin to prepare you for the high drama of the most tension-filled episode so far -- in fact, until the season finale. (DVR the Screen Actors Guild Awards; all those actors will still be there babbling about their SAG cards when you’re ready.)

'Downton Abbey,' The Middle Class and Money ('Ya Gotta Spend It on Somethin' ')

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 3, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Season 3 of Downton Abbey – as soapy, dramatic and witheringly funny as ever, and at times shatteringly sad – begins in the spring of 1920, and everything now has a whiff of the modern. Daisy the kitchen maid rides a bike through the village, Mary and Matthew are planning their wedding, Anna is determined to find the evidence that will free Bates from prison, and in the midst of all that comes the real bombshell. Lord Grantham has made a very bad investment, losing most of his American wife’s fortune; they may have to put Downton on the market. Viewers caught in the 2008 economic crisis can relate.

Watch Downton Sixbey, Part 2: Jimmy Fallon, The Heir and His Mom

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 25, 2012 10:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment
If Downton Abbey is beginning to seem like a memory lost in the mist, if you are longing to hear Higgins the valet ask a footman, “Did you Febreeze His Lordship’s pantaloons?” you are ready for the new installment of Downton Sixbey from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Watch The Downton Abbey Season Finale

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 20, 2012 1:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Whether Mary and Matthew got together or not, there was no bad way for the Downton Abbey season to end. If you missed last night’s finale or want to relive the Christmas holidays with the Granthams, for the next two weeks you can watch it online here. (If you haven’t watched and want to be surprised, skip to the video and don’t read more until you do!)

Previewing The Irresistible Downton Abbey Finale: There Will Be Answers

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 17, 2012 2:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Heading into this Sunday’s Christmas-themed finale of Downton Abbey, you might worry that the season would end with another excruciating cliff-hanger. Mary and Matthew are undoubtedly in love, but will the question of their on-and-off and currently still-off engagement be resolved? (Really, only House and Cuddy were more back-and-forth about things.) I won’t give away the resolution, but there is one at the end. The series could have ended there, but this second-season conclusion also sets us up for season 3 -  and of course, who knows what might change then?

Best Downton Abbey Mashups and Parodies

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 11, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
One of the surest signs that Downton Abbey has become a full-blown hit and pop-cult phenomenon is the mini- and strained flap that has erupted about whether it is snobbish or middle-brow or an old-fashioned soap opera. I don’t see why it can’t be all three. The series satisfies our indulgent fantasies of an old-fashioned life of leisure. Of course we know it’s pure illusion; even Michelle Dockery, who  plays Lady Mary, told David Letterman about her working-class roots, and the fact that her ancestors would surely have worked downstairs.  But what a satisfying fantasy!

Downton Abbey: Does Mary Get Matthew, And Will Patton Oswalt Tweet?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 5, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It took a costume drama about nose-in-the-air aristocrats to give PBS pop-culture traction. But just before New Year’s, there was Patton Oswalt catching up with season 1 and  practically swooning as he Tweeted with arch wit but no irony, “Oh DOWNTON ABBEY, how have I only just now seen your 1st episode? I'm as besotted as a vicar at a crumpet orgy!” And,  confessing his attachment to Lord Grantham’s feminist daughter, his unlikely sex symbol of a valet and the household’s proper but deeply humane butler, he admitted,  “I  now have a lust-crush on Lady Sybil, a man-crush on Bates and a scorching butler-crush on Mr. Carson.”  

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